A video game console is a device whose primary function is to allow users to play video games on a monitor or home theater. Video game consoles are different than arcade games or home computers. Originally, video game consoles were designed only to play games. They can now be used to play CDs, DVDs, connect to the internet or watch TV channels.
Early Video Game Consoles
The first consoles acted like computers that specifically ran video games. Many of the early consoles could only run one game. As the technology became more advanced, the consoles were created to accept different game cartridges. You could plug the console into a television to display the game. Controllers that plugged into the console let players control the action. Early controllers were often joysticks or trackballs.
Modern Video Game Controllers
The newer controllers are as varied as the modern consoles. Today, controllers are wireless. They don’t contain long wires that can trip users or pull the console off a shelf. Each brand of video game console usually only works with the same brand’s controllers.
Steering wheels may be used for games that involve driving. These have motion detectors that sense when you’re turning. Buttons on the wheels control functions such as speed.
Dance pads are pressure-sensitive surfaces that you stand on to control the game with your feet. These are ideal for using with dance games like Dance Dance Revolution.
The Nintendo Wii balance board makes playing games that involve surfing or skateboarding more realistic. It can also serve as a scale or give feedback about the player’s equilibrium, which is helpful when you’re playing fitness games.
Movement trackers use cameras to detect the player’s actions. These don’t require controllers at all, so they leave your hands free. Motion controllers include a stationary motion sensor that sits somewhere near the TV or monitor. The handheld controllers communicate wirelessly with the motion sensor. This lets players mimic the movements of their video game character while holding the controller. All of the modern video game consoles have some type of motion control.
Classic controllers are held in both hands. They have buttons and may have a tracking ball or joystick as well.
Popular Video Game Consoles
The most common brands of video game consoles are Sony Playstation, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox. The manufacturers improve these consoles every few years. The more recent consoles allow players to interact with each other over the internet while playing games. They can also play other types of media.
Handheld video game consoles contain the controls, speakers and display screen in one unit. These portable systems allow you to play games wherever you go. Some handheld consoles can have the games streamed wirelessly from the main console. You can also download apps that let you use your smartphone to control the main console.
If you’re a gamer, you may want the latest video game console. Some people also prefer to get their hands on vintage consoles as a throwback to their youth. The newest consoles tend to be the most expensive immediately after launching. You’ll often see a price drop if you wait a few months before buying it.
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